SF leader 'trying to protect own reputation'

Cormac Murphy

GERRY Adams has been accused of a "pathetic" attempt to protect his reputation by urging anyone with information on the Disappeared to come forward.

The Sinn Fein leader made the appeal following the broadcast of a documentary on the plight of families searching for their loved ones' remains.

Mr Adams has been accused of personally ordering the murder and burial of many of the victims when he was an IRA commander in Belfast.

Following the airing of the RTE/BBC programme, the Louth TD took to Twitter to call on anyone with information to bring it to his attention or to the attention of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains or the families themselves.

But Labour Louth TD Gerald Nash said: "Gerry Adams . . . has it within his capability to help these families.


"His immediate tweet last night in response to the programme . . . was pathetic and an affront to decency."

Mr Adams denies any responsibility for the executions, including that of mother-of-10 Jean McConville, whose body was found in 2003, more than 30 years after she was murdered. He also denies ever having been in the IRA.

Mr Nash said any viewer of the documentary would have been extremely moved by the testimony of the relatives of those "who were so cruelly abducted and killed by the IRA during the 1970s".

"His participation in the documentary was damage limitation, seeking to protect his own reputation," he added.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke of how the moment in the documentary showing victim Charlie Armstrong's widow "speaks for itself".

Mr Adams issued a statement yesterday in which he said: "The story of the Disappeared is one of the great tragedies of the conflict. I have met all of the families and their pain is real and intense. They deserve our full support."